March 10, 2014 - Child Care Payments Update

IDHS and Action for Children now have a special Hotline to call for Cook County providers who are facing financial hardship due to delayed payments. The number is 877-581-3691. The hotline is staffed by Action for Children.

Child care providers offer a vital service for working parents and we know how critical it is for them to receive payments from the state on a regular basis. We at IDHS are taking extraordinary measures to expedite the payments that were delayed as a result of the switch to the new Child Care Management System launched on January 14, 2014, and to keep providers informed on the progress of payments.

To find out when your payment was entered, you can use 800-804-3833. That number will usually tell of approval of a payment the working day following the approval, and generally will tell about issue of a payment two working days after the issue. Licensed providers, must enter the IVR case numbers to hear information on their payments. Pleases refer to the most recent child care certificate for the IVR case number.

For this program, we draw our Federal Child Care funds in the middle of the month each month which allows us to approve and issue the majority of the payments. It appears we have some funds left over from last month that will allow us to approve some payments for the next day or two. Some payments entered on March 3rd have been issued late last week by The Office of the Comptroller. However, there are still payments entered with earlier entry days that have not been approved by DHS because of some technical issues. We are hopeful those held up will be approved soon. Providers that entered their payments via the phone system - IVR on 3/1, 3/2, or 3/3, those payments have an official entry day of 3/4. Some of the payments entered via the phone, along with some payments entered by the Child Care Resource Offices on 3/4 did get approved by DHS on 3/5. More payments with an entry date of 3/4 should become approved by DHS early this week, and probably will be issued late this week. We realize there are some isolated problems with approved and issued payments lately that did not calculate correctly. In particular we are aware of some problems with approvals from March 5th for phone entry payments. We are working to identify why the problems are occurring and hope to have a resolution and a reimbursement process soon.

The child care payment process is 3 Steps. Your payment is entered into the child care system, when funding is available, and the system has no errors the payment is approved by DHS. After the payment is approved, generally the payment will be issued by The Office of the Comptroller 1-3 working days after the approval. Paper checks are mailed the next working day after being issued. Direct Deposit and debit card payments are in accounts 2 working days after issue. To follow payments via the internet, you can see approved payments at:

  • Go to tab: FOR PROVIDERS
  • Click on: Payments
  • Click on: Provider Payment Inquiry
  • Enter: SS# or FEIN
  • Click on: Submit

To see if a payment has been issued by the Office of the Comptroller use:

  • Go to Financial Inquiries (tab at top of the page)
  • click on Vendor Payments
  • Enter SS# or FEIN
  • For the next two pages click on the Gray Boxes at bottom of page (Payments and Find Warrants)
  • Most recent issued payment will be listed at top of the page.

Check back for more updates in the next few days. A recording of the daily update is available at 217-524-9041.

Thank You